Way, way back before numbers and sponsored posts were a ‘thing’, there was this other ‘thing’ called ‘Personal Blogging’. And it was amazing.
Back then, things were easier. You’d write a post. And, if you were lucky, people would read it. Not only that but people would leave this thing called a ‘comment’. And conversation would commence in the comment section because, you see, it was before Facebook and the ‘like’ button came along. And, writing in the comment section was really the only place, aside from maybe Twitter, back when there wasn’t an ‘e’ in it..or even Plurk, when Twittr wasn’t around, where we’d connect to discuss.
That’s where the magic happened. When friendships…TRUE, real friendships were formed. Friendships that evolved from blog comments to OMG..phone calls. Which led to the excitement of seeing these friends at BlogHer! Friendships that transcended the virtual and became reality.
What’s making me nostalgic, you ask? Well, a few days ago I was thinking about the blogging days of old. And, I posted a little comment on Facebook which led into a rather lengthy discussion. You can check out the conversation for yourself, it seems I’m not alone in my reminiscing.
Blogging always had a life of its own. It was more than just a hobby. More than just writing. It was a lifestyle. A passion. A fire that burned. It built us up. And, it destroyed some of us, too. Not to mention, housework was neglected in favor of online chatting via whatever social channel everyone was hanging out on at the time. We cheered, cried, high-fived and hugged our friends as they poured their lives out into their online, public diaries. We saw pregnancies become births. We struggled to get pregnant. We were introduced to future spouses. We lived through divorces. We supported causes of illnesses. We watched babies grow, right before our eyes. We were family.
I don’t know about you but..I miss THAT kind of blogging.
Then, blogging took off. Everyone started blogging. Okay, not everyone. But a lot of people. Back when I first started, there were only 10’s of thousands of blogs. Now, there are millions and bazillions. And, as expected, the whole blogging thing evolved. Brands saw opportunity to connect with influential bloggers and, in turn, bloggers saw opportunity to turn a passion into a career that actually could help support their families.
I haven’t figured that part out yet..the whole supporting of my family from this little space on the interwebs. Maybe someday.
I’ve watched some of my little blogging friends go full throttle into super stardom. It’s been pretty amazing to witness. I’ve also seen big bloggers shut down their blogs because some of them, like me, didn’t like where the journey was taking us. Blogging wasn’t blogging anymore. It was more about marketing.
We’ve talked about this before, you and I (my one or two readers here). I’ve bemoaned the fact that personal blogging seems to have been taken over by sponsored posts and product reviews. Sure, there are still some personal blogs out there. They are fantastically well written. But, it seems the kind of content readers want is more along the lines of how well a bouncy slide holds up at a 3 year olds birthday party rather than posts that actually talk about OMG I can’t believe I have a three year old and spent the money to rent a bouncy slide. Which..I don’t have a 3 year old, I’m just citing an example.
So, why am I here? Wait, I know how I got here. The mom, the dad and a big, special hug. I actually mean..why this post?
Because, I want to see personal blogging become more important again. Forget going viral. Forget numbers. Maybe don’t forget about finding a way to help support the family through the blog because that’s must for many of us.
Bring back old school blogging. Where the posts about your kids, your family, your dog..the heartfelt ones…matter.
Bring back the time before the ‘like’ button replaced the comment.
Bring back the conversations. The connections.
I just recently found out that you can purchase prewritten, pre-linked, pre-imaged posts! About ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. I was shocked.
Here’s where I admit, I bought a few posts I have published on my blog. If you look at some of the more recent posts, I’m sure you can guess which ones. The round ups, the recipes. Hey, I’m just a blogger trying to find her way within a territory that has become so completely unfamiliar.
I hate those posts I bought. I hate that I spent money on them. Sure, I wrote the intros but other than that..nope, not mine. I’m so ashamed.
Yet, it’s becoming all too common..and probably quite a good business for those who are selling them.
You know what made me sad? Up until yesterday, my most popular, most searched for post was a round up of crockpot recipes. A post I only wrote the intro for.
But then yesterday, something miraculous happened. A post I wrote. A personal story I shared here about getting my son a cellphone..became the highest ranking post I’ve EVER WRITTEN.
I wasn’t excited about the actual numbers, although..for my blog..HUGE.
I was more excited about the fact that there IS still a need for personal blogging. For other people to feel like they aren’t alone in their daily struggles. For other people to know there are crazier families out there than their own.
That made me happy.
Personally, I will keep my blog niche-less. Because that’s how it’s always been. I’ll share personal stories, if I’m allowed. Otherwise, they’ll have to be fiction.
I mourn the loss of what blogging used to be. I do. I hate the fact that I live in the past. I realize everything has to evolve in order to remain relevant. But, doesn’t it have to go into hyper evolution overdrive? Can’t we just take a collective deep breath and slow it down a bit? Give blogging back its integrity? After all, blogging comes from the word ‘weblog’ which originally, it’s purpose was an online diary. I’m not seeing much of that these days.
It’s wishful thinking, I totally get it. The only thing I can change is me. If I can’t singlehandedly bring old school blogging back, I sure as heck can bring back a blog roll on my blog.
So..if you want to be on an old school, fun, silly, blogroll..leave me a comment with your blog name and URL. I’ll take it from there!
And hey..thanks for reading this rant of mine that meandered all over the place. I needed to get it out of me and share it.